Today, Governor Rick Scott recognized Officer Stanley Petersen with the Medal of Heroism for his courageous actions. On March 18, 2012, Officer Stanley heroically responded to an assault incident at the Columbia Correctional Institute Annex in Lake City, Florida. During the assault incident, Officer Petersen neutralized the assailant and provided medical assistance to Sergeant Ruben Thomas and Officer William Brewer who were injured during the attack. Despite the life saving attempts, Sergeant Thomas fell in the line of duty.
Governor Scott said, “I am honored to present Officer Stanley Petersen with the Medal of Heroism. His courage, professionalism, and leadership in responding to the Colombia Correctional Institute incident demonstrate his commitment to public service. Despite the best efforts of Petersen and other first responders, Sergeant Ruben Thomas lost his life in the line of duty – and we’ll forever honor his memory for service to Florida families. This was a tragic incident and I recognize all public service police officers who sacrifice their lives for public safety.”
Officer Stanley Petersen said, “I am honored to receive this award but there are many individuals who also deserve recognition from that night. This type of incident could happen to any of us, at any given time. I am proud to selflessly serve the citizens of the State of Florida. It gives new meaning to ‘We Never Walk Alone.’”
Florida Department of Corrections Secretary Michael Crews said, “It is an honor to have Officer Peterson receive the Medal of Heroism recognizing his selfless and heroic acts on March 18, 2012. This was a tragic day for our agency and one that we will never forget. I applaud Officer Petersen’s actions and response and appreciate the Governor for recognizing him with this most-deserved Medal.”
The “Medal of Heroism” is given to any law enforcement or correctional officer, firefighter, emergency medical technician or paramedic who has distinguished himself or herself by risking his or her life deliberately above and beyond the call of duty and must have engaged in hazardous or perilous activities to preserve lives with the knowledge that such activities might result in great personal harm.